Doctor Anthony Fauci told CNN’s Dana Bash on Sunday that he doesn’t think a COVID vaccine mandate will be necessary for domestic air travel during the holidays, but would not rule it out.
Bash mentioned Canada’s recent vaccine mandate for eligible travelers on airplanes and noted former President Barack Obama’s Secretary of Transportation’s suggestion of pushing airlines to mandate the vaccines or simply have the White House mandate them.
“Would you like a vaccine mandate for air travel in effect for the holidays,” she asked Fauci.
He told Baseh it is “always discussable.”
When pressed whether he supported a mandate, Fauci said he doesn’t see that “immediately.”
“I think it’s a decision that’s made by input from a number of parts of the government, including public health,” he said. “I mean, obviously, from a public health standpoint, the more protection you get, the better it is. But I don’t want to be weighing in because we wind up then having people taking things out of context.”
Democrat Sen. Dianne Feinstein introduced a bill that would require vaccines for some domestic flyers. The U.S. Air Travel Public Safety Act would require all passengers on domestic airline flights to either be fully vaccinated, have recently tested negative for COVID or have fully recovered from COVID.
We asked Sen. Chuck Grassley about the prospect of vaccine requirements when it comes to travel. He told us that if a COVID vaccine was required for travel, people “might not be able to travel the way they’d want to travel.”
“You’d have to find other ways of traveling, which obviously may be by car,” he said. “But I don’t see the federal government forcing people to get vaccinated.”